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Daily Archives: July 8, 2018

POGO Informs Treasury – Federal Spending Site Still Lacks Data After Revamp

Via BGOV: “…A recently revamped federal website designed to make contract spending information publicly accessible is plagued with major data gaps, a watchdog group reports. A new version of the Treasury Department-run USAspending.gov, officially launched March 2, was designed to remedy missing or faulty information on federal contract awards and executive compensation. The site was re-launched under the DATA Act, the law passed in 2014 to make federal expenditures more transparent. Yet eight of the 97 agencies the website tracks are late in reporting DATA Act spending information—including the Defense Department, which is almost a year behind in its submissions, according to a June 28 letter from the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington-based nonpartisan, independent government watchdog. Other government programs have submitted very few spending records or none, according to the group…”

See POGO: “As advocates for government openness, the Project On Government Oversight fully supports the work of the Treasury Department (Treasury), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other federal agencies in updating USAspending.gov and providing the public with robust access to federal spending data. The latest version of the site is helpful and offers some great features for people interested in exploring federal spending. We should also note that we strongly support the iterative and transparent approach that Treasury has applied to developing the new USAspending website. Launching the site and taking ongoing feedback has encouraged greater input from outside stakeholders. More agencies should follow suit and involve potential users earlier in the development process for new websites or online tools. In keeping with that development process, we would like to raise a series of concerns with the current website, the functions available, and the data currently posted. Some of the issues below represent significant gaps in the functionality of the site. We urge Treasury and OMB to address these concerns as quickly as possible, as the identified problems are likely resulting in frustration and confusion among many users. The public would have been better served if Treasury had kept this version in beta and maintained the former USAspending site until more of the critical functionality for the new site was operating properly. Many of the issues and recommendations we raise are inter-related, but we have organized them into three main groupings:

  • Search Filter Issues
  • Data Presentation Issues
  • Data Issues…”

How to Read Long Privacy Policies the Easy Way

the quint: “So once I tried reading the privacy policy of a company and post that the process ran its natural course. There were parts I felt were absolutely inconsequential and the excessive use of jargon resulted in me giving up and ultimately clicking “I Agree”. I’m sure it’s just not me and almost 90 … Continue Reading

Biography of Marc Chagall, Artist of Folklore and Dreams

ThoughtCo., Jackie Craven: “Marc Chagall (1887-1985) emerged from a remote Eastern European village to become one of the most loved artists of the 20th century. Born in a Hasidic Jewish family, he harvested images from folklore and Jewish traditions to inform his art. During his 97 years, Chagall traveled the world and created at least 10,000 works, including paintings,… Continue Reading

Legacy of Scott Pruitt at the EPA

The Atlantic – “…There’s no doubt that Trump and Pruitt have already altered the EPA. More than 700 agency employees, including 200 scientists, resigned from the agency during 2017 alone, The New York Times. The agency is referring record-low numbers of environmental crime to the Department of Justice. And its science advisory board was also… Continue Reading

Law Review Article – Carpenter v. United States: Big Data is Different

Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___ (2018) (Roberts, C.J.). Response by Margot E. Kaminski Geo. Wash. L. Rev. On the Docket (Oct. Term 2017) Slip Opinion | SCOTUSblog “A central truism of U.S. privacy law is that if you share information, you do not have an expectation of privacy in it. This reasoning runs through… Continue Reading

Legal Tracker LDO Index

Thomson Reuters: “In this third edition of the Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker™ Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index, we highlight qualitative and quantitative insights into corporate legal department operations. The LDO Index includes responses to a survey conducted among Legal Tracker customers in May 2018. The survey received responses from 217 legal departments, including 76 corporations… Continue Reading

An Open Source Publishing Platform from the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Press

“The Internet has vastly accelerated the rate at which research can be conducted and shared. It has opened new paths for bringing researchers together across disciplines, permitting synthesis and conversations not previously possible. But these breakthroughs have also brought a host of new challenges for traditional publishing. How can publishers promote the increasingly open and… Continue Reading

From Nazi hunters to warriors against today’s fascism

CNN – “For six decades, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld devoted their lives to hunting former Nazis — from death camp guards to leaders of the Gestapo — and bringing them to justice. It was the Klarsfelds who identified the Butcher of Lyons, Klaus Barbie, who was living in exile in Bolivia under an assumed name.… Continue Reading

AP – Trump lawyers call Comey ‘Machiavellian’ in note to Mueller

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Lawyers for President Donald Trump unleashed a blistering attack on former FBI Director James Comey in a confidential memo last year to the special counsel, casting him as “Machiavellian,” dishonest and “unbounded by law and regulation” as they sought to undermine the credibility of a law enforcement leader they see as a… Continue Reading

The Longform Guide to the Supreme Court

Longform.org: “Stories about the cases that wind through the Old Supreme Court Chamber and the justices who have shaped its legacy.” To Have and to Hold – Sex, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court. Jill Lepore – New Yorker May 2015 The Case of Sacco And Vanzetti – Analysis of the trial from future Supreme… Continue Reading

Studies again show pen and paper beats laptop for retaining info in class

Yes, we say again – we know this – and we continue to “take notes” using pen and paper – this is not about technology – it is about comprehension and retention (knowledge management). “Even though technology allows us to do more in less time, it does not always foster learning. That’s why some college… Continue Reading